Digital forensics for first responders


Identity theft, stalking, fraud, theft of intellectual property, contraband transportation, and illegal electronic surveillance are just some of the examples of crimes committed every day using mobile devices. At 21 CLETS LLC, we provide an 8-hour on-line class for front line law enforcement personal which will provide information on the best practices for the seizure and retention of digital devices as it relates to cellular telephones (cell phones), tablets, drones, and other types of electronic devices and electronic components. We will educate the attendees on how to recognize the different types of electronic devices and understand that each type of electronic device has its own best practices collection procedure.

As the first responders’ role transitions into evidence preservation, it is important for that individual to understand the proper seizure and preservation procedures for digital evidence. Does your agency treat all smart phones seizures the same way? Power the device off and put the cell phone into an evidence bag to be processed later? Let’s hope not. What about tablets? Does your evidence seizure procedures treat tablets the same as smart devices? How are you going to seize an unmanned drone found at a crime scene? These are just some of the questions answered in this class.

One of the many tools used in seizing a smart phone or a tablet device is a Faraday bag. This specialized piece of equipment should be a double layered radio frequency shielding bag. A Faraday bag’s purpose is to block cellular, Bluetooth, RFID, WiFi, and GPS signals. The bag itself comes in many different sizes, to handle small devices to large laptop computers. Faraday bags are an important tool and should always be used when seizing electronic devices. However, that is not always the case due to individual Faraday bag costs and current agency budget restrictions. During this class we suggest temporary solutions to a Faraday bag. We also provide the class participants with a testing methodology so the students can test their agency’s current Faraday bags and / or possible temporary solutions.

Another important part of this class is students will learn to develop an electronic device seizure methodology and be able to diagram a flowchart for evidence collection for their agency. Flowchart paths will be based on evidence collection best practices discussed in this course. Students will complete a digital evidence best practices flowchart for legacy cell phone devices, damaged devices, and for drones.